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If You Understand This Key Idea, You’ll Surely Have A Healthy Relationship With Yourself

If You Understand This Key Idea, You’ll Surely Have A Healthy Relationship With Yourself

Do you remember “that kid” whose mom was a clingy, smothering mess? You know the one we usually made fun of and teased relentlessly? The one we dubbed “Mama’s Boy.” “That kid’s” mom was always around and always over-mothering. She hovered, babied and embarrassed the snot out of that poor kid.

As “that kid” grew older, mom became even more clingy. Eventually, the poor kid just gave up. He barely had any friends, couldn’t have a girlfriend and ended up going to the prom with his mom. When it was time for “that kid” to attend college, his mother had a panic attack and was hospitalized (briefly) when he suggested attending a college out of town—not out of state—out of town. “That kid” is now an unmarried 40-year-old who lives in his mom’s basement and manages the local supermarket.

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The dangers of over-attachment

We’ve all heard statements like, “you are the air I breathe,” “the curve in my smile” or “the reason I get out of bed in the morning.” And on the surface, they sound extremely sweet, iconic, passionate, and intense but in reality, they are dangerous. Idolizing and clinging to a person, relationship or material possession leads to undue fear, irrational thinking and can have catastrophic results. Understanding that you are a complete person with and without your possessions, relationships, status, wealth and/or power is the key to mental stability and allows you to cope with the hurricanes the winds of change inevitably bring.

What non-attachment is

The concept of non-attachment is attributed to the Buddist religion as this is a fundamental practice of Buddhist monks, however, most religions (including Christianity) and pop culture psychology advocate a healthy dose of detachment in our everyday lives and relationships.

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Non-attachment is an objective and practical way of viewing the world, relationships and possessions. It is a choice that drives one’s perspective to view things, situations and people as they truly are. This thought pattern allows an individual to make rational and pragmatic decisions that are not fear-based, selfish, biased or based on one’s current emotional state.

Non-attachment breaks the bonds of clinginess and unhealthy dependence so many relationships experience and foster a relationship steeped in open and honest communication and promotes interdependence.

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What non-attachment is not

Non-attachment is not indifference, apathy, uncaring or the absence of emotions. Feelings don’t cease to exist. Individuals simply choose to relate to them differently because they understand their ephemeral nature.

Practicing non-attachment can benefit your relationships

Change is an inevitable part of life. You must expect, accept and embrace it in order to maintain your sanity and to keep moving forward. Babies grow up. The kids will eventually move out. Grandparents die. Lovers quarrel. These are facts. Being overly attached or dependent on anything is the recipe for disaster and precipitates the unhappiness and deep pain so many people experience unnecessarily. Non-attachment is the practice of developing a healthy view and relationship with the world around you. Here are a few keys to help you break your unhealthy attachments:

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  • Be present in the now: Things may change. He or she may leave you; someone may be a victim of a violent crime; you could lose everything in a tragic house fire…these things COULD happen. But they haven’t. Worrying is not a preventative measure. It inhibits you from experiencing the joys of now and robs you of the time you do have with people, places and things.
  • Develop a healthy view of yourself: Learn to love yourself as you are right now. Strip away all of the external factors: your looks, your career, your accomplishments, your friends and family members, and love the essence of who you are at this very moment.
  • Identify areas of unhealthy attachments and work to develop a healthy and realistic view of those things: The easiest way to identify an unhealthy attachment is to think about those things you are deathly afraid of losing. Also, think about your sources of validation. Where do you draw your sense of identity? Another person? A job? Being a parent? Once you’ve identified these areas, work on confronting the fear. What would you do without them or it? How would you move on?

Non-attachment is about existing in the present moment and acknowledging what is actually happening now. It gives you the power and capacity to shift or change a situation and not be a victim to it.

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Denise Hill

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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